Access with iwoca’s e-Credit Line

Elliot Fry from iwoca explains the benefits and potential of their new partnership with

On Alibaba’s gigantic wholesale trading platform you can import everything from a million frozen chicken feet to a few tons of cement powder to 100 Ninja-star USB drives. In need of a life-size animatronic dinosaur? Alibaba’s got it covered.

We think just about every retail business should be looking to take advantage of global suppliers and Alibaba seems like the perfect way to start. Importing from abroad can give you cheaper prices, a larger selection, more options for customisation and ultimately higher profits. However, whilst Alibaba has always done a great job at linking buyers to suppliers, starting to trade internationally has traditionally presented many more hurdles.

First off there’s risk involved. You’re doing business with someone thousands of miles away that you’ll never get to meet and minimum orders are generally large to make shipping economical. It can also put pressure on your finances – a large upfront payment is often required then you have to wait weeks whilst your goods sit on a boat. Not every small business has the financial muscle to go so long without seeing a return on their investment. Finally you have to deal with the complexity of international transfers, currency exchange, language barriers and more.

Fortunately Alibaba has introduced four new trade services to address these issues. Put together, they make it’s platform much more valuable than your regular classifieds site.

Business Identity: Allows buyers and sellers to ‘verify’ their business, meaning you’ll know exactly who you’re dealing with and whether you can trust them.

Trade Assurance: Free insurance for purchases from selected suppliers so that if something does go wrong with your order, you’ll get your money back in full.

e-Credit Line: Trade finance to spread the cost of your orders with free international transfers and commission-free currency exchange included.

Inspection Services: Have your goods inspected during and after production to ensure quality. It comes at an extra cost but can be worthwhile for large purchases.

At iwoca we’re particularly excited about e-Credit line which we’re offering in partnership with Alibaba.

You can sign up online to get approved for a flexible credit facility of up to £50,000. Then you just need to forward your order details to iwoca and we’ll send the funds direct to your supplier.

We’re excited about e-Credit Line and are aiming to fund over £100 million in imports over the next 12 months. We think 2015 is going to be the year that small retailers can finally take advantage of the global market.